Newmarket-based Tristel tops market expectations for annual sales and profits

Chief executive Paul Swinney and finance director Liz Dixon outside Tristel's offices at Snailwell,

Chief executive Paul Swinney and finance director Liz Dixon outside Tristel's offices at Snailwell, near Newmarket. Picture: Gregg Brown - Credit: Gregg Brown

East Anglian infection prevention products manufacturer Tristel has reported above-forecast increases in annual revenues and profits, helped by strong growth in overseas sales.

Tristel's headquarters at Snailwell, near Newmarket.
Picture: Bruce Head - bruce@brucehead.com

Tristel's headquarters at Snailwell, near Newmarket. Picture: Bruce Head - bruce@brucehead.com - Credit: Archant

Tristel, which is based near Newmarket, said turnover for the 12 months to June 30 came in at £20.273m, up 18.5% from £17.104m the previous year, with overseas sales climbing by around 43% from £6.7m to £9.6m.

Bottom-line profits before tax grew by more than half, to £3.966m compared with £2.593m a year earlier, with the pre-tax figure adjusted for share-based payments up by nearly a quarter, at £4.1m against £3.3m.

The results were slightly ahead of revised forecasts announced by Tristel in a post-year-end trading update in July and well ahead of previous market expectations.

Chief executive Paul Swinney said: “We are pleased with the progress made this year. Sales and profitability exceeded both market expectations and our internal plan. The drivers were growth in our overseas operations, favourable exchange rates and the acquisition of our Australian distributor’s business.”

Inside Tristel's headquarters at Snailwell, near Newmarket.
Picture: Gregg Brown

Inside Tristel's headquarters at Snailwell, near Newmarket. Picture: Gregg Brown - Credit: Gregg Brown


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Finance director Liz Dixon said that overseas sales had now overtaken those in the UK, accounting for 51% of total revenue during the second half of the year.

However, she cautioned that while favourable currency movements, combined with the growth in overseas sales, had contributed to the increase in reported sales last year, the company also faced increased costs as a result of the fall in the value of the pound, with many components for its products being imported.

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Tristel is currently seeking regulatory clearance to enter the lucrative United States market and Mr Swinney said this programme was “progressing well”, with its first submission to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) having now gone in.

“We were disappointed to learn in early October that there will be delay to the approval timetable, but this does not change our expectation of first sales in North America in financial year 2018-19,” he said.

The timetable for a parallel application to the US Food & Drug Administration - a much longer process - was not affected by the EPA delay, Mr Swinney added.

Tristel, which employs 84 people in the UK including around 60 at its Snailwell headquarters, said it would not be repeating the special 3p per share dividends paid in 2015 and 2016 but the standard dividend for the full year will increase by 21%, to 4.03p from 3.33p per share.

In the light of the results, Corporate adviser and broker finnCap lifted its forecast for adjusted pre-tax profits this year to £4.4m, reflecting stronger-than-expected margins, with 2017-18 sales still projected to come in a £22.4m. It also issued its first forecast for 2018-19, pencilliing in sales of £25m and adjusted pre-tax profit of £5.0m.

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